N.C. NAACP takes Constitutional amendments case to state’s highest court

The fundamental legitimacy of the North Carolina state constitution is at stake.

The North Carolina NAACP today announced it will take its case to invalidate two Constitutional amendments regarding photo ID voting requirements and income tax rates to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Represented by SELC, Forward Justice, and Attorney Irving Joyner, the group will also appeal a North Carolina Court of Appeals decision.

At stake here is the fundamental legitimacy of our state constitution,” explains Senior Attorney Kym Hunter.

For as long as our constitution has had a provision for amendment, it has required a three-fifths supermajority of both the state House and Senate to approve a potential change before taking the question to the voters.

“The legislative defendants’ argument to ignore this critical safeguard and allow a supermajority that lacks a claim to popular sovereignty essentially rewrites our core foundational document,” adds Hunter. “Their attempt to allow a racially gerrymandered supermajority to lock-in their narrow agenda should be forcefully rejected.”



The road to justice is not a straight line, but we will not rest until it is won.”

—Rev. Dr. Spearman, President of the North Carolina NAACP

Today’s appeals court decision came after the North Carolina General Assembly appealed a February 22, 2019, decision by Wake County Superior Court that ruled with the NC NAACP plaintiffs and voided two constitutional amendment proposals – imposing a photo voter ID requirement and lowering the state income tax cap.

The lower court reasoned that the amendments were invalid because they were placed on the 2018 ballot by an illegally, racially-gerrymandered General Assembly, which lacked “popular sovereignty” and did not represent the people of North Carolina.

On behalf of the plaintiffs, Rev. Dr. Spearman, President of the NC NAACP, says they are “thrilled” to bring this historic case to the Supreme Court of North Carolina to ensure that the people’s voice is heard and that the foundational principles of our democracy and our Constitution is preserved and protected.

“Let it be crystal clear: the Court of Appeals decision today changes nothing about the coming election,” Spearman says. “No photo voter ID will be required in 2020. The requirement of Photo Voter ID in North Carolina is prohibited in 2020 and until there is a full trial, based on a finding of this same Court and by a Federal Court that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted its voter ID law with illegal racially discriminatory intent.

Concludes Spearman, “The road to justice is not a straight line, but we will not rest until it is won.”

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